I guess I’m Feeling Self-Expressive Today

I guess I’m Feeling Self-Expressive Today..

I was reading the article ‘Converting Search into Navigation’ and thought this is a lot of what we’re doing for the consumer(me and you). I keep saying consumers (or we) ‘are very bad predictors of our own future behavior’ which may be true, but we’re even worse at ‘searching’ for relevant options of ‘things goin’ on’ locally. Locally, in my mind, means ‘on the go’ (or mobile.)

It’s really not our fault. Search providers don’t give us the mobile tools or the results we need, but how would we know that?  You’re not invited in on the delivery process.

“Until we (as users) begin to grasp the complexities of search and develop our skills accordingly, the businesses that take extra steps to help us find what we need will improve our success — that’s the bottom line.”

I’ve had a bit of a ‘pivot’ I guess you could say in how I describe our product, while we’re creating ‘actionable insight’ to all local users (consumers), we’re really also making ourselves ‘decision-ready’ for the attentive local merchant and provider of local services.

This may seem like semantics, but we (users with a smartphone) have already demonstrated we’re willing and able to search for things ‘on the go’ or we wouldn’t be swiping our devices to review ‘what’s goin on’ so frequently. But as a merchant, how do you cut through the clutter and ‘navigate users attention.’  As a consumer, how do we get through the maze of default staples (pardon the pun, icons) of apple, twitter and facebook to your mobile app?

We all stay really busy.

It’s either how do we find relevant content OR how do they solicit you (unobtrusively) with their content?  How do we get our local favorites or how do  merchants get our attention and maintain a presence on the holy grail of the first panel? Before the IM, before the clock, before the camera or the calendar-you get the picture. Lot’s of folks navigate based on how many messages they have building.

So, many of us look for the app that has the most activity building to ‘take action on’? You know, that little red indicator?  But which app or whose sourcing the most relevant info for us, who really know’s the best of ‘what’s goin’ on” as it relates to me, locally?

The short answer is ‘you’.

Googles mobile presence

Googles mobile presence

It’s our job to make the local merchants (whether they be Sport Clips, Cluckers, Culvers or Kroger) appear in plain sight at ‘the moment of intent’ or moment of truth (or when they’re really needed, but how? Google is my favorite search for PC, but as a mobile app-it’s challenged.

You just can’t navigate a mobile phone like a PC.  That’s obvious for a number of reasons.  But why do when we go to the Google’s mobile app or homepage you get a search bar, with a couple of buttons?

Google Local UI

Google Local UI

Example of local bars

Example of local bars

I know we have Google Local for finding the best ‘places’ and it does work for ‘brick and mortar’ places that have setup a Google Place for Local.  Which I highly recommend businesses and organizations do, but that doesn’t get the job done for folks unaware of Google Local (app) or merchants unaware of their free Google Places listing.  Or the merchant who just doesn’t have the time to get their posting- just right.

For example, my buddies have a new restaurant called Cluckers, while they have three locations in this ‘region’ they’ve yet to be associated in the Google Local App which may be their fault, but may be they haven’t been told?  Who can they trust to give them this advice, there’s so much to learn.  They certainly can’t know it all themselves.

I guess it could be my fault?

Cluckers Splash Screen

Cluckers Splash Screen

Let’s test this theory..

How many folks have a mobile phone? Imagine me asking you in a crowded room-you can raise your hand, now.  How many of you have smartphones? How many of you know what you are doing right after this meeting? [If your goin’ home-you don’t count.]

How many are goin’ out?  Let’s create some serendipity…

You might have met someone here and want to find the next thing to do? Find what’s going on.  Think of what you would do? Go to your phone? What app do you choose? Search? What’s your query? What are the results?

How about Twitter, broadcast a message?  Let’s say your really bored and ready to get on with it?  If you’re like me.. You’ll get ‘a cricket’- not even cricket(s).


We’ve described today’s environment.. the world we live in…

You know you have many options, many publishing apps are coming online daily for entertainment or travel that might be able to quickly quench your thirst for food, fun, or entertainment.  But is this place really ‘worth the walking distance?’ Did you get real-time advice from a local expert? What about the weather, I mean you did ask for outdoors and you are walking, right?

We could really use some advice and results from someone whose ‘local’ and knows the real-life environment, knows your location and has similar tastes and interest(s) (to avoid the ‘masses are asses’) problem that Robert Scoble describes.  Or someone who has your ‘best interest’ in mind.. there’s that ‘interest’ word again..hmm.

We don’t want advice from local search results of peoples past (good or bad) experiences through customer reviews.  We’re pro ACTIVE and we want events from ‘locals’ who suggest the most highly recommended, most relevant and most up-to-date result set going.

Our democratic process of idea generation allows us to respond with the best suggestion for our local future happiness.  How can Yelp know of the Beatles cover band playing on the Waterfront (when it’s not a place’)? Or if you’re really into networking join the next accelerator down the street-I mean they’re popping up everywhere-right? Surveys can provide local actionable, intelligent, insight, by ‘locals for locals’ voting on what they believe to be your best experience.

You can choose folks with similar demographics to you or not, it’s in your control..

Jack Dorsey, Founder of Twitter and CEO of Square, says there is “beauty at the intersection of ‘utility and design’ I believe he’s right, things should be as simple and elegant was possible and no more, ‘finding local things’ whether it be on your cell or in the local area is hard. So we’re going to create a mobile app that engages, encourages, enlightens and empowers folks to be active and stay ‘in control’ while ‘on the go.’

ps..While also creating the mobile apps and marketing to help you find a better ‘a way’ to navigate the local things of interest to you, with the only limitation being the local ‘adjacent possible’.

I recently saw an article on 60 minutes that I thought was really great..

Twitter has become a marketing tool for big business and any organization, a revolutionary way for people to ‘connect.’ Jack Dorsey described his need to communicate more, be more vocal. While Twitter is about messaging, his new business, Square, is about ‘money’.  He spent a week trying to figure out why no one else had done it before.  The concept of Square was to take money via the phone for garage sales, campaigns and otherwise.  Their business model was to make fees less than what credit card companies charge.  He’s done $12 billion in transactions.

Jack Dorsey’s fascination with trains and maps led him to his developer career path and entrepreneurial success, while others were mostly fascinated by football players and girls. Not that there’s anything wrong with football players and girls, but we’re all multi-faceted people with many different interest. You need to have a lifelong obsession with how things work in the ‘real-world’ and know how they can translate to the ‘virtual world.’

We need to know.. where we’re going, what we’re doing, where we currently are.

Chapter II

Where I was, what I’m doing, how I feel..

Based on his obsession with trains and maps, Jack found his way into the dispatch office of NYC.

Now he’s expanding Square internationally and raking in revenue of $12+billion(that’s actually with a capital ‘B’. So, while thinking about the utility of the Golden Gate Bridge (the perfect intersection between Art and Utility) while also creating good software.

We should approach life similarly, Find the things that ‘work’ in real-life (or better yet, don’t work) and how they can be improved through the virtual world.

Take the time to write simple messages to your-self.  Be fascinated by ‘real-world systems.’

Here’s an excerpt from the next article that summarizes what Twitter means to Dorsey, maybe it will make sense for you too, just as Laura Logan was able to apply to her own life.

The Innovator: Jack Dorsey

March 17, 2013 4:00 PM

When Jack Dorsey invented Twitter, he changed the way we communicate. Will his latest creation, Square, change the way we shop? Lara Logan reports.

Dorsey says that tweeting about the minor details of life allows for a deeper interaction in person because the basic Who, What, and Where of daily life has already been communicated via Twitter. “We could blow past all those and really get into the meaningful stuff [in person],” says Dorsey.

“It showed a side of my parents and my mother and my brothers that I had not seen before– it feels like it’s bringing the family together more, even though they’re still in St. Louis and I’m in San Francisco,” Dorsey told Logan. “I always know how they’re waking up. I always know how they’re falling asleep. I always know what matters to them because they’re tweeting about it.”

For Logan, the “Twitter effect” on family relationships was a revelation. “I suddenly imagined myself as a mother and thought, my God. If my kid’s away in college or living somewhere far away from me and I can’t see them, I probably would wanna know every morning that they were OK. I get it now. I get what Twitter means to him and his family and, you know, obviously to millions of other people.”

Finally, if you’ve read thus far, I’m extremely impressed.  

We need your input, what would make our app better ‘in  your mind?’  From the above you know we’re improving upon the flow of info from local merchants organizations to you.  Don’t think so much of how this is going to happen, just think of what it could be like, if I were in a strange place and had to rely solely on the kindness and experience of a “trusted local?”





Frequently used words

always ask best creating doing dorsey family find folks get goin’ going jack know like local logan many me message mobile more most navigate need people phone relevant results search simple square twitter trusted users want we’re where why


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